Sneak preview: Clinique Lid Smoothies

Monday, July 25, 2011

Clinique is adding a brand-new Smoothie to their lineup, and (unlike their lip smoothies), this is one that you absolutely cannot afford to miss. I’ve only been testing them for three or four days, but thus far, I’ve been really, really impressed with how well they wear.

I’m holding out on the review and swatches until I’m completely certain these are as good as I think they are, but  you *need* to start lusting after these, STAT. I’m not sure of the US and international release details, but Canadians will start seeing these on counters next month (that’s just one week from today) and, well: they might just be “all that” –

… and then some.

(More photos…)

Clarins Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm | 01 Crystal Coral review and swatches

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The product: Clarins Instant Smooth Crystal Balm in 01 Crystal Coral

I left our feature of Crystal Coral until now because I’m convinced it’ll be the most popular of the three Instant Smooth balms – and if I’m wrong, well, shh, just don’t tell me! I’m the sort to leave the best for last, and it was the one you all seemed to be most excited for, so… *shrugs*

Like Crystal Red (and unlike Crystal), there is actually a tint to Crystal Coral. It’s a really fresh, fun coral, which would probably qualify as orange – that is, if it was opaque rather than super-sheer. As it is, though, this simply imparts a really juicy-looking coral tint. Paired with its fruity, candy-like scent and tasty-looking translucence in the tube, it really does scream summer!

A few links:

  • Our initial Crystal Lip Balm review for more photos, skin swatches, and a full review,
  • Dedicated reviews for Crystal or Crystal Red, which feature additional photos of all three plus lip swatches of each balm, and finally,
  • The green-on-green FOTD where Crystal Coral made a cameo, in case you want a full-face swatch.

Okay – that’s all! I know I’ve been treating these balms like a little kid with candy (in more than one way, they look seriously tasty), but I promise this is the last post on them!



I think.

(More photos…)

Benefit BADgal waterproof eyeliner in Espresso | review and swatches

Monday, July 18, 2011

The product: Benefit BADgal Waterproof Eyeliner in Espresso

It’s taken me forever to review this one, and I think that’s because we have a bit of a love/hate relationship going on. Before you read on, I’m going to remind you that (as always,) eyeliners can be very ymmv – that is, “your mileage may vary.” What works for you may not necessarily work for me, and vice-versa!

The formula: The BADgal waterproof liner formula is smooth enough to easily smoke out, but not so smooth that I’d call it slippery. (Hello, Urban Decay 24/7, I’m looking at  you… and giving you the stink-eye!) For this reason, I do find it tugs a little bit going on; enough to notice but not enough that I think it’s a huge issue. It glides onto the waterline, which definitely gets it points in my books, and you have about fifteen seconds to work with it before it sets (which is plenty of time).

The wear: As longtime readers may know, I’ve always had problems finding liners that wear well on my lids. Unfortunately, this is no exception.

I can get a meagre hour or two of wear before I notice migration from the waterline onto the lower lashline, and from the upper lashline to my fold. That’s actually not bad for a pencil liner, when it comes to my monolids – a lot of them don’t even make it to the half-hour mark! I was still left disappointed, though: what good is a gorgeous smudgey eye if it won’t even last ’till lunch?

(Note: while the liner resisted spritzed-on water within this time frame, it didn’t wear through water + friction. Water-resistant, perhaps, but not waterproof!)

The packaging: The smudging end of Benefit’s BADgal waterproof liners is plasticky and smooth, rather than slightly rough and spongey. It’s something I haven’t seen on a pencil before, and it makes blending a breeze – even on my sensitive skin! (Smudging out eyeliner usually irritates the heck out of my eyes.) It’s something that I can definitely see myself using, even if it’s to blend out other pencil liners instead.

The colours: There’s just three shades in this range right now – Charcoal, Espresso (featured here), and Black. All three are smooth, matte shades, without any bells or whistles, and (weirdly enough), I think this is probably the only matte medium-brown liner I’ve ever tried. Most companies either a) make a darker brown or b) sneak in at least a little shimmer or sheen, so don’t miss this one if you’re looking for really minimalistic colour.

The verdict?

This BADgal liner is a lovely matte brown, easy to smudge and brilliantly packaged – but it’s not without its flaws.

All in all, I’d recommend this if you don’t usually have problems with wear and you live in the US (where it’s $20). It does a stellar job of creating a natural “my eyes but better” look in under a minute (and you could quite literally do it with one hand tied behind your back), but while it lasts longer than Urban Decay 24/7 or Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners on my lids, I don’t think it’s worth the $26CAD price tag.

(Ingredients and more…)

Clarins Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm | 03 Crystal Red review and swatches

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The product: Clarins Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm in 03 Crystal Red

Of the three Instant Smooth lip balms, the tint of Crystal Red is my favourite. It’s sheer, for sure (though not as sheer as 02 Crystal), but imparts a really lovely “my lips but better” sort of colour – just enough red to perk up my complexion, but not so much that you need a mirror to apply.

The strange thing about the colourants in this one, though, is that they make the product (in the tube) look different depending on which direction it’s being lit from. More photos to display this effect at the bottom of this post, but I thought it was a kinda cool thing to point out!

For a full review, additional photos and swatches, and an ingredient listing, please view our original Clarins Crystal Lip Balm review.

(More photos and swatches…)

L’Air de Nina Ricci (2011) | review and photos

Friday, July 8, 2011

Okay okay okay, so this is a day late – but I won’t mention it to the Blogging Powers That Be if you don’t!

Nina Ricci’s newest launch, L’Air de Nina Ricci, came out around April this year (give or take a month depending on location). It’s a lovely new blend by Louise Turner (of Love, Chloé) and Michel Girard (of Rose The One), and I’m… rather pleased to say that it’s not all that similar to L’air Du Temps!

Where the original is often described as too soapy or too much like my mother, L’Air de Nina Ricci is very fresh, very feminine, and very young. It’s touted as a “new classic,” but to be honest, I don’t think it quite gets there. Simply put, I think scents become classics by being in the right place at the right time, perhaps featuring a new molecule in a particular way, or a new style at just the right time, but there isn’t anything particularly innovative about this L’Air.

While I do like L’Air on the whole, the opening is too aggressive for my liking – so be sure to give it time to settle before judging it! I’ve found that my favourite way to wear this is to spritz it lightly on a scarf or a sweater when I wake up: that way, when I go to put it on an hour later, the fragrance has dried down to a lovely (softer) floral. (It lasts forever, too, and the base notes are absolutely divine!)

The rundown

Notes: top – freesia, honeysuckle, violet leaves | heart – magnolia, jasmine sambac, bulgarian rose | base – palisander wood, patchouli

Noses: Louise Turner and Michel Girard

Availability: 30, 50, and 100 ml bottles of Eau de Parfum; 200 ml shower gel; 200 ml body lotion

Bottle designed by: Virginie Barré

Photographed and filmed by: Ryan McGinley

Model: Noreen Carmody

The creation of the scent

I think this snippet from an interview with Turner and Girard does the scent more justice than I could ever imagine to, so…


MAC Semi-Precious: get it while it’s hot

Thursday, July 7, 2011

M·A·C, M·A·C, M·A·C, M·A·C, M·A·C, M·A·C, M·A·C

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